Saturday, 18 February 2012 00:00
Presidential Adviser on environmental protection, Secretary Nereus Acosta, has raised the warning on scarcity of fresh water and the accompanying risks it carries in the next 10 years.
Acosta, invited as keynote speaker at the opening of a three-day 5th International Conference and Scientific Meeting here Wednesday, said that water is now the oil of the 21st century.
The meeting, attended by more than 200 school heads and technical persons in the country and abroad, has a theme “Environmental Education for Adaptive Water Source Management sponsored by John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and the Environmental Educators Network of the Philippines.
Acosta said the scarce resource was taken for granted by people and some 180 billion cubic meters of water are being wasted everyday.
“The Aquino government has started planting the seeds of water conservation and preservation by gathering 38 water bodies in the country to discuss the situation. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson was designated as the water czar to lead the coordinative efforts of the government,” Acosta said.
Similarly, the World Bank is helping provide technical assistance to the group with a possible starting point at the Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) area, Acosta said.
Admitting that the national government has enforcement gaps and was remiss in the past of its duties to protect and preserve the water resources, Acosta said this herculean project may not be completed by the Aquino government during the President’s term.
“The Aquino government is starting the project now and it is most important than not doing anything at all to solve the problem,” Acosta stressed.
Ronald Sebastian, chief executive officer of the maritime university, pointed out that the people do not have to wait for anyone to act on the environmental problem. Ilonggos must act together now to arrest the problem as environmental adaptation.
The Presidential adviser pointed out that Panay Island, especially the province and city of Iloilo, has only a five percent forest cover with the only remaining forest at the boundary of Aklan and Antique provinces.
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